Commissions of Inquiry

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Commissions of Inquiry


permanent or temporary international bodies established by special agreement to look into the factual circumstances and true causes of international disputes. Commissions of inquiry may be formed by the states involved in the dispute or by international organizations.

The first regulations concerning international commissions of inquiry were included in the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 on the peaceful resolution of international conflicts. The first commission investigated the dispute between Russia and Great Britain over the Dogger Bank incident in 1904.

According to the Hague Convention of 1907, the aim of a commission of inquiry was to facilitate the resolution of an international dispute by elucidating the circumstances surrounding it. Unlike the decision of an arbitration tribunal, the report of a commission of inquiry was not binding, and the disputants were free to accept or reject the commission’s conclusions.

The regulations included in the Hague Convention of 1907 served as a model for other multilateral agreements on the peaceful resolution of international disputes, such as the Treaty on the Avoidance or Prevention of Conflicts Between American States (May 3, 1923), which is known as the Gondra Treaty.

The UN Charter established a film juridical basis for more highly effective, peaceful means of resolving international disputes, including procedures for inquiries. The possibility of appeals by states to commissions of inquiry is provided for in the UN Charter (art. 33, point 1), as well as in a number of other multilateral and bilateral treaties on specific issues, such as the Declaration on Principles of International Law (1970) and the Declaration on Strengthening International Security (1970).

References in periodicals archive ?
It is worth pointing out, before examining in more detail the Commissions of Inquiry, that every stage of all of the ILO's supervisory procedures is published, on paper and/or online, except the internal deliberations of such bodies as the Committee of Experts and the Committee on Freedom of Association.
None of the twelve governments examined by Commissions of Inquiry over the ILO's history have made use of these constitutional provisions, either to request a second investigation or to challenge the results.
Commissions of Inquiry have been set up roughly once each decade, on average, though recently the pace has somewhat accelerated: Myanmar (Burma) in 1997; Belarus in 2003, and Zimbabwe in 2009.
There are various conditions that should be met to allow Commissions of Inquiry to be most effective, including agreement of the country concerned to take part in the investigation and to implement the results once achieved.
Commissions of inquiry have been criticized for several reasons: for being unfair to the persons who are the subject of unfavourable comment, made during public hearings or in the commission's report; for costing too much; and for taking too long.
The legal topic I have chosen for this lecture is some differences of opinion about commissions of inquiry in general.
Over the past two years I have had to make myself familiar with the law relating to commissions of inquiry.
There have been over four hundred of them since Confederation in 1867, if you include provincial commissions of inquiry (because I think every province, or almost every province, has its own Inquiries Act, which authorizes commissions of inquiry).
This volume provides a comparative examination of the politics of government commissions of inquiry into national security and intelligence matters in different countries around the world and in a couple transnational settings.
That could be avoided by establishing private commissions of inquiry.
The royal commissions of inquiry and other investigations into government scandal convened in Western Australia during the period under examination (1991-2004) were of significantly greater number than in earlier eras, prompting Peachment (Institute of Public Administration, Australia) to declare that analysis of this unique period holds important lessons for government and politics in Australia.

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